Gift Biscuits!

One of my favourite small gifts for friends and family is food – some homemade biscuits/brownies/cupcakes look beautiful and show that you have taken the time and effort to bake.

You can easily personalise flavour combinations and have lots of fun trying them out! I like to use these clear plastic bags from Amazon to hold biscuits and brownies in, boxes would probably be more practical for cakes. The plastic was not the stiff sort that I had expected but you can definitely still make them look pretty. I cut squares of stiff card and placed in the bottom of the bag and arranged 7 biscuits inside. To finish off, tie with colourful ribbon and make sure you label them so the receiver knows what type of biscuits they are! I love these Cath Kidston stickers and labels which have some small circle stickers (about 2cm diameter) which look great for labelling.

I would love to hear your favourite edible gifts and any fun and interesting ideas you have for packaging them!

 

Oat and Hazelnut biscuit recipe can be found here 

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies, makes about 20 small cookies

Preparation Time : 20 minutes

Baking Time : 10-15 minutes

 

I LOVE peanut cookies, but not peanut butter which I always thought a bit weird. Anyway, these cookies are yum and extremely easy to make, nice and crumbly with good peanut flavour. Read on to find out how I made them;

– 80g unsalted butter, softened

– 3tbsp sunflower oil

– 50g demerara sugar

– 50g golden caster sugar

– 1 large egg, beaten

– 100g plain flour

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

– 70g peanuts

First cream the butter, peanut butter with the sugars until light and fluffy. Mix the egg in. Next sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda gradually until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Finally mix in the peanuts (I used unsalted peanuts as they are healthier and toasted them on a hot pan for 10 minutes or so, but salted peanuts work just fine too).

 

Using two spoons, take small balls of the dough and place onto a parchment-lined tray using the other spoon to scrape the dough out. I would leave about 10-15cm in between each cookie to allow room for spreading out in the oven. Bake in a hot oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 8 minutes, then flatten out the cookies with a spatula if they have not already flattened out. Bake for another 5 minutes or so until done. I prefer mine a little softer in the middle so 10 minutes was enough for me.

Cool on a wire rack after a few minutes since removing them from the oven. Eat immediately…

Choose the next recipe on my blog!

Hey guys, so I have plenty of new recipes that I have been wanting to try, but not that much time – I recently started a new job at a farm where I get lots of lovely organic fruit and veg, meat and eggs, so I would love to put them to good use, but my sweet tooth also beckons…  Anyway since I can’t decide, I would love it if you would vote in my poll just below and I will try out the recipe with the most votes! Thanks!

So you can see my dilemma… it’s a pretty random bunch of recipes but I have been saving them for a while and would appreciate the votes. Ta! Also if you have any additional ideas that you think I could try, please comment and I will consider them all.

Chocolate Pecan Crunch Biscuits

I originally made these biscuits as a gift for one of my best friends and substituted the single egg with yoghurt as she cannot eat eggs – they look beautiful wrapped up with ribbon! They are not too chocolatey and I think go well with the pecans. Also these biscuits are so easy to make and do not take long at all! Here’s how I made them.

Chocolate Pecan Crunch Biscuits

A plateful of biscuits…

Preparation time : 20 minutes

Baking time : 12-18 minutes

– 100g dark chocolate (I used Green & Blacks 70% dark chocolate)

-80g unsalted butter

– 50g light muscovado sugar

– 85g golden caster sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla essence

–  1 beaten egg, or a few good dollops of plain yoghurt/milk

– 100g pecans, finely chopped (or whizzed in a blender) + some whole pecans for decorating

– 100g plain flour

– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

First melt the chocolate and butter over a bowl of gently simmering hot water. Stir so that they are thoroughly mixed, the chocolate mixture should be very silky and velvety. Stir in sugar until dissolved.

 

Take the bowl off the heat and add vanilla essence. Add in the egg (once mixture is cool enough) or yoghurt if using. If you have not already, very finely chop the pecan nuts or zap in the blender (this is easily done before and will reduce preparation time a lot). Stir the pecans in. Then, sift the flour and bicarbonate or soda in until the texture becomes a little thicker.

If the mixture is still relatively soft and there is still liquid at the bottom, adjust by adding in more plain flour. This is how my biscuit mixture looked;

When you are happy with the consistency, you should be able to dollop little balls onto a pre-greased/lined baking tray. I like to use a large tablespoon to flatten the ball and then round off the shape with my fingers. Leave about 5cm+ (just to be safe) in between the to be baked biscuits on the tray to allow room for spreading. Decorate with two whole pecans gently pressed into the top of each biscuit mixture. Bake in an oven at 180 degrees for 12-18 minutes depending on the oven strength.

Before…

…after

Remove from the oven when the biscuits are still a little soft as they harden when they cool and you don’t want them to be too crunchy to bite! Leave on the hot baking tray for a few minutes then remove and…

Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Happy Eating!

Yummy Oat and Hazelnut Biscuits

These biscuits are great as an accompaniment to a steaming cup of tea. The hazelnut flavour manages to balance the oaty goodness, finished off with a fantastic crunch! (although if you like softer cookies/biscuits, you may like to cook for a few minutes left so that they are not completely crunchy). They are really easy to make after you have  mixed up the biscuit mix. Be sure to bake soon after preparing the mixture though. You can also add any flavourings you like, substituting oat and hazelnuts for peanut butter and peanuts, or chocolate chips give good results too I’m sure!

Oat and Hazelnut Biscuits, makes 18

Preparation Time : 20 minutes

Baking Time : 12-15 minutes on a middle shelf

– 175g butter

– 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

– 120g golden caster sugar

– 1 egg yolk

– 1 tsp vanilla essence

– 250g self-raising flour

– 75g rolled oats + extra for topping

– 75g finely chopped hazelnuts

First cream the butter and sugar together. Add the oil.

 

Then add the self-raising flour, about 50g at a time, , mixing gently until no more white bits of flour are visible.

Separate the egg, adding only the yolk to the mixture, as well as the vanilla essence.  It will be quite tough as the flour makes it quite dough-y. 

Next finely chop the hazelnuts. I used a small blender as it is much quicker and cuts them very finely – if you’ve got one handy.

Finally add the hazelnuts and oats into the thick biscuit mixture. Be careful not to overwork it – I find it easiest to mix it in with my hands so that the hazelnuts and oats are spread out evenly.

Then take small chunks the size of a table – tennis/ping – pong ball and shape into a round ball. Spread out onto a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment. The eventual size of my biscuits were about 6-8cm, so anticipating this kind of size, spread out accordingly leaving space in between. When they are lined up on the baking sheet, take a sprinkling of oats and place on each biscuit piece, flattening the top slightly.

Bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated oven at 200 degrees. If after about 8 minutes or so they haven’t spread and flattened, use a spatula to gentle pat it down. They should be golden brown when done.

Cool the biscuits on a wire rack so that the bottom remains crisp.

All done! Quick and simple – my favourite kind of food preparation.